File image of Inzamam-Ul-Haq. (Getty Images)
File image of Inzamam-Ul-Haq. (Getty Images)

'Why should I praise Ashwin and Axar if Root is taking 5/8': Inzamam wants ICC to take action against Ahmedabad pitch

  • India vs England: The latest to weigh in on the pitch debate is former Pakistan captain Inzamam-Ul-Haq, who has blatantly expressed that such a wicket is not good for the health of Test cricket.
By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 04, 2021 07:44 AM IST

Even with one day to go for the fourth and final Test match between India and England, the debate surrounding the third Test match at the Narendra Modi Stadium is as hot as ever. The match that saw India wrap up a 10-wicket-win inside two days – the first time in 54 years that a Test match has finished in two days, has left the cricketing world divided over the pitch that was used.

While some believe the wicket was far from ideal to host a Test match, there are those who reckon it's part and parcel of the game. Former cricketers such as Michael Vaughan, Gautam Gambhir, David Lloyd, Shoaib Akhtar, Viv Richards and many more have voiced their opinions, some criticising the surface, some defending it.

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The latest to weigh in on the debate is former Pakistan captain Inzamam-Ul-Haq, who has blatantly expressed that such a wicket is not good for the health of Test cricket. A perplexed Inzamam seemed to be having a tough time digesting the fact that a Test match got over in two days, and expects the ICC to take some action against it.

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"No one could have thought, and neither can I remember when was the last time a Test match got over in two days. Did India play that well or was it the behaviour of the wicket? Should such wickets be part of Test matches? I thought India were playing some brilliant cricket. They beat Australia earlier and made a brilliant comeback in the second Test, but preparing such a wicket, I feel is not the right thing to do with cricket," Inzamam said on his YouTube channel.

"Even scorecards in T20 matches read better than the one we saw in Ahmedabad. The ICC should take action on this. What sort of wickets are these that a Test match cannot even last two entire days? 17 wickets falling in less than one day… what are we playing on here? Sure, you take home advantage, spinning tracks should be made, but this sort of pitch I don't think should exist."

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Inzamam explained how uneven wickets should not be allowed to host Test matches. The former Pakistan batsman brought to light the Barbados Test match between India and West Indies in 1997, where the visitors, chasing 120 to win, were infamously bowled out for 81, pointing out how that was an equally poor wicket and so much was said about it.

"I feel that as a former cricketer, such type of cricket should not be played. When teams come to the sub-continent that they will encounter spin-friendly encounters, but to this extent? I remember in the West Indies, in the fourth innings, it was such an uneven wicket. India needed some 100-125 runs to win (120) and they all got out (81), so much of noise was made even then," Inzamam added.

"If Joe Root is picking up five wickets in six overs, you can imagine the condition of the wicket. Why should I praise R Ashwin and Axar Patel, when Root is picking up 5/8? Test matches have so many important elements, the venue, the ground, the umpire, referee, so a pitch should also hold some significance. Test match should look like a Test match. Don't think India would have derived the same satisfaction from this win as they did after beating Australia."

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